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Defending US Open champion Marin Cilic: 'I can handle expectations'

Marin Cilic says that he can handle the expectations surrounding him as he attempts to successfully defend his US Open title.

Defending US Open champion Marin Cilic has insisted that he is not buckling under the expectations surrounding him at Flushing Meadows.

The Croatian won his first Grand Slam title in New York last year, and remains in contention to retain it after winning his first two matches.

"This is a position where I want myself to be in, and I can only take positives out of it," Cilic told reporters. "I cannot, you know, look at it as something negative, that, you know, people expect me to play well or I'm expecting myself to play well and to be at top of my game all the time.

"There is something positive, and shows that I'm able to do it, able to compete with the best, and that's what I'm trying to do and trying to use every day so I can to get the best out of myself. You know, that's the best it can be, I would say."

Cilic will take on Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round.

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Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates a point during his Men's Singles match against Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy on day five of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2015
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